New legal setback for Donald Trump on his tax returns

US President Donald Trump will have to send accounting records to New York justice. This is the latest episode in a long legal battle that is not yet over, since the American billionaire can still appeal.

Donald Trump must transmit eight years of accounting records to a New York prosecutor: this is what a federal judge concluded Thursday. This is a new twist in this legal battle, the Republican President having always refused to publish such documents.

In a 103-page decision, Judge Victor Marrero ruled that the request of prosecutor Cyrus Vance – a Democrat who is asking the Mazars accounting firm for Donald Trump’s documents for the years 2011-2018 as part of an investigation whose scope exact remains secret – was justified.

Appeal to the Supreme Court?

The judge compared the last arguments of the president’s lawyers – who had argued in July that the requisition warrant was “too broad” and the prosecutor in “bad faith” – to an attempt to surreptitiously reaffirm that the American president enjoys a “absolute immunity”, an argument that the US Supreme Court rejected in a July 9 decision.

This new decision does not mean that this battle, started in 2019 by Cyrus Vance, is over: Donald Trump can still appeal, and some do not rule out that the case still goes back to the Supreme Court. The investigation procedure taking place before a grand jury kept in secrecy, no one knows exactly what the prosecutor is looking for in these accounting records, which he claims from the Mazars accounting firm.

“Criminal conduct”

Initially, the investigation was supposed to focus on a payment made on behalf of the Republican candidate during the 2016 presidential campaign. This payment is believed to have been used to buy the silence of an alleged mistress of the magnate, the actress of porn movies Stormy Daniels, in violation of US campaign finance laws.

But the prosecutor’s office recently hinted that the investigation could be broader, focusing on possible “criminal behavior within the Trump Organization,” the unlisted company that aggregates the affairs of the ex-tycoon. immovable.

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